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Miranda v. Arizona

Conviction Overturned

With Miranda's conviction overturned, Arizona glumly faced the prospect of having to free its most celebrated prison inmate. Without the confession, the chances of winning a retrial were negligible. Ironically, it was Miranda himself who brought about his own downfall. Expecting to be released after retrial, he had begun a custody battle with his common-law wife, Twila Hoffman, over their daughter. Hoffman, angry and fearful, approached the authorities and revealed to them the content of a conversation she had with Miranda after his arrest, in which he had admitted the rape.

The fresh evidence was all Arizona needed.

Miranda's second trial began 15 February 1967. Much of the case was argued in the judge's chambers. At issue was whether a common-law wife could testify against her husband. Yes, said County Attorney Robert Corbin. Defense counsel John Flynn, who had pleaded Miranda's case before the Supreme Court, bitterly disagreed. After considerable legal wrangling, Judge Lawrence K. Wren ruled such evidence admissible, and Twila Hoffman was allowed to tell her story to the jury. It proved decisive. Miranda was again found guilty and sentenced to 20 to 30 years in jail.

On 31 January 1976, four years after being paroled, Ernesto Miranda was stabbed to death in a Phoenix bar fight. The killer fled but his accomplice was caught. Before taking him to police headquarters, the arresting officers read the suspect his rights. In police vernacular, he had been "Mirandized."

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1963 to 1972Miranda v. Arizona - Significance, Tainted Evidence, Conviction Overturned, Impact, Miranda Rights, Further Readings